Exposé Online banner

Bob Nell — Soft and Bronze
(Plechmo Music 4000, 2003, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2005-09-01

Soft and Bronze Cover artBob Nell has been playing jazz piano for nearly 30 years (mostly with drummer Brad Edwards) supporting jazz icons such as Ray Brown and David ‘Fathead’ Newman. His latest set of eight pieces features a trio that concentrates on the fine attributes of the small acoustic club combo. The opening track, “808 Express,” is a blast from the past as Nell delivers chops not unlike those jazz heroes he has emulated. Next up is a the bouncing melodic title piece that serves as a plateau for Nell’s nimble ability at the keys and later on giving space to upright bassist, Mike Bisio. Things heat up a bit for “Triumphant Thoroughfare,” which has an alternate theme development from prior songs. “Song for Aria” mines a familiar mode for jazz pianists: nightclub mood soloing with minimal backing and mournful melody. “Steve’s Revenge” in contrast, is a full on assault that pushes the trio into a toe-tapping frenzy and one of the best displays of ensemble interplay on the disc. Two alternate extended takes of “Blues for KB,” which also appears on Nell’s 1991 recording Why I Like Coffee close out the disc. The former take is one punctuated by fiery improvisation while the latter track is a more linear, straight-up performance. Overall Nell and his trio would be welcome in any jazz nightclub across the country to convey their take on the modern jazz trio.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 32, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Bob Nell

Latest news

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Martin Archer - In Stereo Gravity – This sprawling two-disc set of experimental musical vignettes is as interesting as it is difficult to describe, but as always, this writer will do his best to communicate its essence in words. The...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues